Tamil film Pebbles (Kozzhangal) directed by debut filmmaker Vinothraj P. S has won the Tiger Award at the 50th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2021. The film began its journey at NFDC’s Film Bazzaar Recommends in 2019.
Pebbles is the second Indian film to win the highest honour at Rotterdam festival. Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga bagged the award in 2017 Rotterdam edition.
The feature drama, set in the backdrop of Arittapatti, a drought-ridden village in Tamil Nadu, tells the story of a poverty-stricken alcoholic father Ganapathy and son Velu who are on their way to bring their wife-mother who ran away from home. Presented by Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan’s Rowdy Pictures, Pebbles stars non-professional actors in the lead roles. The film music was composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
“The jury was blown away by a seemingly simple and humble film we fell in love with instantly,” the Rotterdam jury said in a statement. “Creating a maximum impact with a minimum in means, the filmmaker reaches his goal with the same conviction and determination as his main characters. The result is a lesson in pure cinema, captivating us with its beauty and humor, in spite of its grim subject.”
“Koozhangal doesn’t need any sickles: the unforgiving sun sears the earth, the men, the trees: all that’s left is the ashes of humanity—and a flicker of the innocence of children. Don’t miss this film,” says film critic Meenakshi Shedde in her review.
The winner of the Hivos Tiger Award will also receive a cash prize of 40,000 Euros. The prize money will be shared by producer Vignesh Shivan and director Vinothraj.
A complete list of the winners from this year’s International Film Festival of Rotterdam
Pebbles (Vinothraj P.S.)
Special Jury Award (Tiger Competition)
I Comete – A Corsican Summer (Pascal Tagnati)
Looking for Venera (Norika Sefa)
VPRO Big Screen Award
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet (Ana Katz)
IFFR Audience Award
Quo vadis, Aida? (Jasmila Žbanić)
Tiger Short Award
Sunsets, everyday (Basir Mahmood)
Terranova (Alejandro Pérez Serrano, Alejandro Alonso Estrella)
Maat Means Land (Fox Maxy)
The Edge of Daybreak (Taiki Sakpisit)
Manifesto (Ane Hjort Guttu)
IFFR Youth Jury Award
Night of the Kings (Philippe Lacôte)